A Valentine’s Day Plan with Staying Power: Dark Bars, Fireball Speed Dating and Burning Photos

Find your soulmate in The Love Boat Speed Dating game at Ships Lounge on Friday night.
Sara Kerens
Find your soulmate in The Love Boat Speed Dating game at Ships Lounge on Friday night.
Finding love in Big D can be exhausting. It’s like The Hunger Games of dating.

If you’re lining up reservations to test their love or prove yours, you’ve got it all wrong. The real merits of a relationship are best validated in a dumpster-fire manner. Or at minimum, a well-tested sense of humor.

This Valentine’s Day, work outside the boundaries. That’s where the truth is. Staying power is in the quiet, dark spots.

Or if you're single and happy as a clam, we've got that covered, too. Since Valentine's Day lands on a Friday this year, we'll all need a place to shake off the week and probably won't want to be inundated with sappiness. Or maybe you'll just want to burn something.

We've checked in with a few of Dallas' best dive bars to see what, if anything, they'll be cooking up, plus a few other standouts.

Ships Lounge

1613 Greenville Ave.

Looking for love in all the wrong places? Yes. Yes, you are. Ships Lounge, the maiden dive bar of Dallas, will host The Love Boat: Speed Dating, sponsored by Fireball and Pabst Blue Ribbon. They assure, “If you’re not in love at first sight, just have more booze.”

The first bell is at 8:30 p.m. Ages 21 to 89 are welcome. No entry fee, but there are a limited number of spots.

Lee Harvey’s

1807 Gould St.

Does Valentine’s Day make you just want to set something on fire? Well, congratulations! Lee Harvey’s will have the fire pit nice and toasty. Bring a photo of an ex and in return you will receive 50% off a sandwich meal. The manner in which you want to anoint said photo aflame is up to you, but they do have one rule: no passports or any government-issued forms of ID.

The disturbing thing is that we know every rule is made only after someone crosses a line.

“Printed off old school photo copies only or no discount,” says Kristina at Lee Harvey’s. They go hard on fire pit rules.

Adair’s Saloon

2624 Commerce St.

Adair’s Saloon is hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day with M.E. Thursday, Feb 13.

“Come and sing songs about heartbreak and loneliness with yours truly … because we all know we will be busy buying half-off Valentine’s Day candy at Walgreens the day after.”

click to enlarge
The My Bloody Valentine Week drink menu, including a dark story
courtesy Strangeways Dallas


2429 N. Fitzhugh Ave.

Strangeways has a special drink menu called My Bloody Valentine Week, with drinks such as A Black Rose, For the Black Widow, She Kills on Valentine’s Day, With a Bullleit Through the Heart. Did you get that story line there? If you did, you’re savvy enough to imbibe. If not, stay home.

Dunder Whiplin, Inc. (The Whip)

1806 McMillan Ave.

Speaking of escaping a dangerous setup, you might want to check out The Office pop-up at The Whip. Dunder Whiplin, as it's been called since mid-January, is in its last weekend of bad jokes and awkward moments a la Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute. If you love The Office and you take a date here and they just don’t get it, it’s better to know now.

Angelika Film Center

5321 E. Mockingbird Lane

The same test of character could be applied to this Valentine’s Day midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Angelika Film Center. You don’t have to get up and dance, Amber Does Dallas will be there for that; they’re hosting. Should be a fantastic time.

The Virgin Hotels Dallas

1445 Turtle Creek Blvd.

If old ladies in drag is more your thing, well the fancy new Virgin Hotel has a show on Thursday, Feb. 13, “Dallas: Hot Flashbacks Debut, Galentine’s Day.” This musical parody featuring Blanche, Dorothy and Rose of The Golden Girls in drag has been all the buzz in NYC. This should be a hilarious time, even if the line “Thank you for being a friend” was a trigger for you at any point in your life.

Double Wide

3510 Commerce St.

Double Wide is hosting a free show, Sweet Broken Hearts: Love Songs & Sad Songs with local singer-songwriter, Mike Randall and The High Road.

Single Wide

2110 Greenville Ave.

Meanwhile, if you like to keep it low-profile, you can hop over to Single Wide for a Strawberry Cheesecake “Pink Drank,” or their Valentine's Day special: two shots and a Yoohoo Yeehaw for $15. They tease on their Facebook page, “Tell us about a better deal. We’ll wait.”

We don’t really have anything.

Lakewood Landing

5818 Live Oak St.

Impartial to Valentine’s Day? Head to the Landing, where they promise there will be no mention of it. And besides that, rumor has it their chile relleno special last week was spectacular. There's no contempt nor disappointment in a plate of Tex-Mex. And if that’s not back, then corn dogs, duh!

Alas, Blue Bell re-released its Red Velvet Cake ice cream this week and we’re not saying you should stay home to Netflix and chill with a half gallon, but ... hell yeah, we’re saying that. Those cows in Brenham work hard for your happiness.